The Day After

statue-of-liberty

The day after.

Although not a complete sentence, it does conjure up immediate associations in us. Some of those associations are filled with regret (the day after an argument, the day after a night of excess, the day after a night one can’t remember) and some are filled with joy (the day after meeting someone special, the day after a big win, the day after a night one will remember forever). It seems to me, the words “the day after” mark an association with a passion for something or someone.

For many of us, this election was marked with passion.

Now, on the day after, we need to wash off any regrets we may have and focus our passion on the future.

Democracy is not really about Election Day. It is about involvement. It is about the daily passion of working toward making our nation the best it can be today, tomorrow, and in the years to come. The only way to have leaders who lead with integrity, commitment, insight, and awareness of the needs of the people is to be actively engaged in the process.

So, in the “days after”, write to your legislators. Write to your President. Tell them how you feel, what you think is the right choice on issues. Tell them your story. They cannot, and do not, make decisions in a vacuum. They make decisions based upon the information they receive. If you do not participate in the dialogue, then you cannot complain about the outcome.

No one person, not even the President, determines policy in our country. We have an awesome system of checks and balances. So, today – the day after – channel your passion into a commitment to be involved in forging our future. Volunteer in your local political party, attend meetings held by your local legislators, write to your elected representatives. If all that seems like too much, then commit to watching more than one news channel or reading more than one newspaper so that you are committed to achieving a balanced view on the issues we face through an open mind. Regardless of the extent to which you do so, make involvement in our democracy an important part of your life.

We, the people…the day after – and every day – determine the present and the future. Embrace that responsibility with the degree of passion commensurate with the challenges that lay ahead.

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12 thoughts on “The Day After

  1. This is true , the day after may not have been the outcome some of wanted and hoped for, but its done. Now we learn to make something positive from it and open our minds to new and different possibilities. We may not all agree on the same thing but we all have the right to express why we feel this way. According to the presidential election we as the people have the right to disagree and to claim unfair and we do have the right to claim what is right in our own opinion.

  2. I was pretty depressed after this election, and honestly the fact that Donald Trump is our new president, and will be for at least four years, hasn’t really settled in yet. But, you are absolutely right that we cannot mourn about this election. If we are anti-Trump, then we need to try to make a stand, and fight for what we think is right, because the first amendment of the constitution states the right to free speech, especially towards the federal government, and even if writing to our president, or any sort of non-violent protest doesn’t get us anywhere, we still have to try. Seeing these anti-trump protests in these big cities around country gives me a sense of hope, but when a lot of these people in the protests are advocating violence, all I can do is shake my head. Violence is not the answer, we need to do as MLK Jr. did, non-violent protests! This also isn’t what Hillary Clinton stood for at all. I’m sure she’s at home, or wherever…shaking her head too. The next four years won’t be easy with Donald Trump in office, but it’ll be even worse if this violence continues. Violence is simply not the answer.

  3. Although The Day After article at first was very short, It had some important pieces of information that could benefit any concerned citizen. I will not be surprised that on the next coming months, more articles similar to this one will be published. With the results of the 2016 election, I believe the majority of Americans are not happy. I understand the author’s goal on stopping the majority of frustrated Americans from tearing our nation apart. Furthermore, It is hard to believe that such a short article, can hold very beneficial information. I am convinced that with the results from the 2016 election, there is still a small amount of hope for our nation. If all concerned Americans convert, and write down our concerns to the authorities. Our nation’s future will not be determined by our authorities but the people themselves.

  4. Well, the day after was very important for everyone, and we were waiting for that day tirelessly, but that day had turn many people into desolation and depressed for the arrow had had changed his direction.

  5. Ms urban I totally agree the day after didn’t feel real, hoping that the polls made a mistake and hoping for the decision to be different and we the people can make a change by voting next time

  6. This years election was like no other. It had a following that past elections had not had. You are completely correct in saying that we need to continue on. That goes for supporters of Trump and non supporters. I myself am not depressed I see that as a country we have a bright future and I know that if I stay the course I will too.

  7. Professor Urban,
    I completely agree with so many of your ideas in this post. I think young people especially, forget that they have a voice that they know how to use in the political arena. Sometimes they use it for the wrong reasons, and sometimes they do it disrespectfully. But I believe, it is important that we all start to have conversations without judgement, and be able to disagree with others and still keep it civil. Too many times after this election, people just shut down and ended the conversation. As a democracy, we have to be able to discuss things with an open mind, or nothing ever gets done. I completely agree with you when you said that those of us who do not speak, have no right to be upset over the outcome. Too many young people did not vote, I believe out of laziness and lack of interest. Too many of them could not own up to their lack of participation. Perhaps their vote may have made a difference. I also agree with you when you say that only reading or watching the things that you agree with, will keep you too closed minded. We all have to listen to others opinions in order to make proper decisions. Whether people were happy with the outcome or not, the point of democracy is that everyone has a voice. That being said, one must use their voice appropriately, without violence or hate.

  8. I really liked your quote on “We, the people…the day after – and every day – determine the present and the future.” I couldn’t agree more with this quote, although we may have a some trouble facing the fact of who is in office and also the way our economy is, the people who are within it will be the ones who have the larger voice and say in how our economy is shaped not just today but for the future. The people who who stand as the leaders and are seen as the ones that economy focuses on more but it the each and every person together that will make a larger impact and shape this economy rather than one person who has a higher status than everyone else.

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